Fall Home Maintenance Guide

Homeowners are well-aware of the upkeep required to keep their homes in tip-top shape. Routine home maintenance can be exhausting as each season brings specific projects for the weather changes to come. However, a well-maintained home is a happy home, and the completion of home maintenance tasks can be very rewarding.

With cooler temperatures and rain clouds making their way in, there are several steps you can take to prepare your home for fall while enjoying the remaining warm days. Even though some projects take a little bit of time, they will be well worth it as you prevent future damages and higher energy costs.

Unclog gutters and downspouts

Many water issues arise from clogged gutters and downspouts. Removing any leaves or debris is a pretty simple task to take on any evening or weekend with a helpful climbing latter, an old spatula, power washer or leaf blower. You’ll need to climb onto the roof to flush out any debris with your handy tools. Then, think about installing gutter guards to prevent unnecessary buildup for spring.

Remember to position your downspouts or attach a downspout extender to prevent runoff from invading your home’s foundation. Heavy fall and winter rain showers can cause water to pool near the sides and base of your home, which can lead to molding and rotting.

Reduce energy with better insulation

Did you know that heating and cooling make up for 50-70% of energy usage in most American homes? You can reduce your heating bill by lowering energy usage through proper insulation.

Take a walk through your attic to find out how much insulation you already have and how much you might need this fall and winter. If you can see the ceiling joints, it’s time to add in more insulation; at least 10 inches of insulation is needed to notice a difference in your heating and cooling bills. Insulation installation is one-time-investment that will bring long-term savings for you and your family.

Invest in storm windows

Cool weather can bring drafts of air into the home if you have single-pane windows, which make it difficult for your heating system to operate at its best potential. Single-pane windows are known for letting cool air creep through the home.

Installing storm windows can keep you and your family more comfortable throughout the cooler months and will also lower your energy bill. Storm window installation may require a professional, but this one-time task has benefits that greatly outweigh the effort.

Seal any cracks

Small gaps and cracks along your doorframe, foundation or windows may appear innocent, but they could invite water or small critters into your home. Inspect your home (inside and out) to search for any small openings along the:

  • Outlets
  • Faucets
  • Windows
  • Interior and exterior corners
  • Any locations where vents or pipes enter the home
  • Doorframes

Sealing any small cracks or gaps with weather stripping, spray foam or caulk can also cut energy costs while safeguarding your home from pesky, preventable damages from water or insects.

Clear the water heater

Flushing out sediment buildup from your water heater is a simple task that can also save money by removing excess debris.

Start by turning off the water heater and letting the tank cool. Then, shut off the water supply and use a drill pump to remove water from the heater. Dump the water into a bucket or your sink. Start by draining three gallons, but keep filling and flushing until the water starts to run clear.

Test your home for radon

Radon, a radioactive gas, can become more prominent in homes during colder months when the windows are typically closed. Did you know that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer? Have your home tested for radon before fall comes by contacting a radon service provider near you to keep safety at the forefront this fall.

Make any roof repairs

Your roof shields your home from the elements, such as wind and rain. It protects your household from Mother Earth’s unpredictable surprises. Before the rainy season begins, make sure to repair any cracked or missing shingles to prevent expensive damage repairs from heavy storms. You could avoid repair costs, such as new insulation, wood or drywall damages, and any plumbing or electrical issues. Take the time to repair your roof now before any fall or winter catastrophes strike your home.

Give your kitchen a deep clean

Spend a Saturday deep cleaning your kitchen to gear up for the upcoming holidays. Holiday parties and gatherings are just around the corner, so take the time to thoroughly clean your kitchen to enjoy preparing holiday dishes in your beautiful, sparking kitchen. The more cleaning you can get done in advance, the less stress you’ll have during holiday entertaining prep.

Deep cleaning ideas:

  • Sanitize light fixtures
  • Scrub garbage cans and recycling bins
  • Mop the floor
  • Wash backsplash, walls and cabinets
  • Clean dishwasher, microwave, oven and appliances

Check your devices

Fall is the perfect time to make sure that your smoke detector, fire extinguisher, clocks and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working. Test your devices to see if any batteries need to be replaced, and look for expiration dates to confirm that everything is still in working order. This simple task could easily prevent drastic catastrophes in your household.

Organize an energy audit

Schedule an appointment for a trained auditor to check your home’s energy efficiency. They will  provide a complete assessment including tips for a more energy-efficient home, such as new insulation, windows or weather stripping around your doors. Find a home energy professional in your area today to schedule a home energy audit.

Protect Your Household Even Further

By completing these fall home maintenance tasks now, you will have plenty of time to make repairs yourself or hire a professional if needed. You will stay comfortable, become more energy-efficient and save money by following this helpful guide.

Protect your home and yourself as cooler air starts to circulate with these helpful fall home maintenance projects. As your home prepares for fall, make sure you are protected, too, with the right health insurance policy to meet your personal needs. VelaPoint Insurance is just a call away at 855-652-3171 and would love to help you find the right health care plan for your budget and lifestyle today.